Only on Vashon- The Weekly Rundown 1/28/22

The Chetzamoka has been struggling this week. There were canceled runs, some crew were out sick, and this happened: 

Poor Chetzy

We keep posting to ask if the boat is up. There are a few apps that track the boats, though they aren’t always updated in a timely fashion if a run is canceled.

Ferry tracking apps: 

Ferry Friend

NW Ferry


Also, have you ever noticed that the antena thing on the top of the Chetzamoka looks like an evil clown? That’s all I see when I look at the boat. It’s no wonder the South End run is cursed. 

We have a “hypothetical” situation in the Vashonites group. What if a business owner hasn’t paid past employees, and is now looking for employees for a new business venture. Should you (a) help pay the people who haven’t been paid or (b) tell people not to work for them. 

We have a range of opinions. 

Some say the poster should sit down with the business owner and talk to them about how they can pay their employees back. That way the business owner can “tidy up their Karma.” 

Clearly, the most important issue at hand is the state of the business owner’s soul and the effect their actions may have on their future incarnations.

Some say that a good rule of thumb is to mind your own business. But is other people’s avoidable misfortune your business? If you can prevent suffering, isn’t that your business?

There is a place you could report wage theft to: the Department of Labor. Wage theft is a crime. But since it takes a long time for claims to get arbitrated, and you want to prevent people from getting tied up in a bad situation right now, maybe sharing some information wouldn’t be terrible? Especially since there is no Department of Karma. It’s left up to us, the people of the internet, to create the Karma we want to see in the world. 

I don’t fully understand what Karma is, but you probably realized that by now. 

Others say you should shout their crimes from the rooftops. Why are we sheltering thieves? If someone broke into your house and stole your TV, would you assume they had good intentions and that they would not steal a TV the next time they broke into a house? (Maybe not. They already have a TV now.)

Wait, back up. We addressed question (b), but not question (a). Should you pay the people out of pocket to help the business owner get out of their financial hole? 

If you have the money and can give it to people who are in need, by all means, go ahead. But that doesn’t get the business owner off the hook. No matter what, they owe their employees money. 

Someone makes the point that you shouldn’t bail out the business owner. They make this analogy: “The question is, when we react to a child by giving them candy when they are acting out, just to shut them up, aren’t we the ones promoting bad behavior.” The commenter also adds, “and yes I would inform someone if they were about to get stung by a jellyfish while swimming.” 

I totally agree with the previous commenter and also envy their analogy-making skills. If a business breaks the law, and then gets bailed out instead of facing consequences (*cough* sub-prime-mortgages *cough*) then doing shady things and getting away scot free becomes the business plan. 

The debate takes us into the realm of theology. 

An islander says, “Lady I don’t wanna argue or debate back and forth. Sometimes it takes someone to just rise above it all and HELP. I truly believe that God has a way of working things out. Do good and good comes upon you. Do bad and you get the shit end of the stick.  Plain and simple!!!! That’s it for me!!! Have a good life!!! Be happy treat people better than they deserve.  It comes back 10fold.”

I have bad news about the 10-fold claim. Due to inflation, the rate of return on kindness is now only 1.2%. 

Another commenter got back saying, “Theft of wages is theft; there’s nothing political, nothing to “rise above” in some banana-nutso “God” given decision to -according to you- let employers steal hours of their employees’ lives & wages.”

Kindness is important, but you don’t need to be kind to the person who’s ripping you off. You won’t heal their heart with your kindness. They’re not Jean Valjean. They’re more likely Monsieur and Madame Thénardier.

We should be able to call a collection agency on past employers. 

An astute commenter points this out: If you really want to get that business under the spotlight, call the IRS. If a business isn’t paying employees, it’s also likely not paying taxes, and that might interest the government enough to do something. 

via the Economic Policy Institute

Anna Shomsky
Author: Anna Shomsky

I'm a former teacher and a data engineer living on Vashon Island. My writing has appeared in Five on the Fifth, Women on Writing and on the Post-Culture Podcast. I wrote and produced the radio show Whispers of Vashon for 101.9 KVSH. I’ve had short stories published in the anthologies Island Stories and Chicken Scratchings, as well as through the Open Space Literary Project.

1 thought on “Only on Vashon- The Weekly Rundown 1/28/22”

  1. Great post! I think Chetzemoka looks like Yoda with longer ears…maybe he is eating foods he is sensitive too cause he has shadows around his eyes…?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.